LEARNING AREA: Racial Equity
The front page of the Massachusetts Municipal DEI Coalition's DEI Guide. The photo on the left shows two multicolored hands holding each other. The text on the upper right reads "Massachusetts Municipal DEI Coalition" and the bottom right reads "DEI Guide 2022"

Massachusetts Municipal DEI Coalition's DEI Guide


Massachusetts Municipal DEI Coalition




Since the summer of 2020, many municipal governments have created or strengthened diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. After the murder of George Floyd, a period of social unrest caused organizations across numerous sectors—local government included—to examine how they could take a stand against racial injustice. Through this reflection, many municipalities realized they were not equipped to discuss issues of race in the workplace. This period of self-examination also caused many local governments to reckon with their own roles in constructing and maintaining oppressive and exclusive systems, and their responsibilities to correct injustice in the face of such histories. The result was a surge in job opportunities for DEI consultants, officers, specialists, coordinators, and other DEI professionals to help municipalities and other organizations incorporate DEI values into their practices, policies, and cultures. According to data from Indeed.com, job postings in DEI rose 56.3 percent between September 2019 and September 2020 (1).


For municipalities, the real work begins now. In this moment, when so many people understand the importance of DEI, we must push toward structural and sustainable change in our municipal governments. We must create spaces of belonging for those that have been left out of governmental policies and institutions, or actively and intentionally harmed by them. We must reimagine DEI as a core function of government, not an afterthought or the job of just one individual. We must come to think of DEI as everyone's responsibility. In service of these goals, we present this guide as a collection of lessons gathered by municipal DEI practitioners throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We hope this document provides you with strategies, ideas, and tools that help you become more impactful in your DEI work, regardless of where you are working or what your title might be.